The Thirsty Beagle has mentioned before that I have a young son. He’s 3-going-on-4 in about six days. He’s now at a very cognitive level. He understands beer is for adults, the OSU Cowboys are No. 1, and other important stuff like that. He also understands what he wants. Long gone are the days where myself and Mrs. Beagle could use trickery, deception and redirection to make him forget about something he earlier had set his mind on. The boy has a memory like a steel trap. Once he decides he wants something, either he’s going to get it or there’s going to be a showdown of 4-year-old determination and fit-throwing vs. parenting mastery and cunning. So enter into this lion’s den the commercial that came on last night for the latest version of Disney on Ice at the State Fair. You’ve got Timon and Pumba from “Lion King.” You’ve got Lightning and Mater from “Cars.” I looked over at my son and he was glued to the TV, wide-eyed. The countdown was on: How long until he asked to go? Mrs. Beagle, sensing the inevitable, beat him to the punch. She asked if he wanted to go. He said yes. All-in-all, I’m not upset at this point. It’ll be fun for him and there’s nothing wrong with taking him to see a show. Even if half the production is princesses and fairies. Plus, we typically go to the State Fair once a year, so why not just knock the fair and show out at the same time. Could be worse, right?
Well, there are certain things The Thirsty Beagle can’t stand: Cyclists who insist on riding 10 mph in the middle of the road, and then also insist on running four-way stops (You can’t have it both ways, cyclists!); Waiting in line for anything; flies; and trying to buy a ticket listed at a certain price and then finding it’s actually more expensive because of surcharges, services charges and the always-hated, counter-intuitive and dispicable ”convenience” fee.
So we find ourselves back around to Disney on Ice. The Thirsty Beagle logs on today to buy tickets. I settle on the $28 rink-side seats. I’m doing quick math and looking at a total of $84 for a trio of seats. Halfway through the ticket-buying process, I get hit with the service charge: $7 per ticket. It’s not clear to me what this “service” is. As far as I can tell, the whole transaction is being handled by a computer. Either way, I’m annoyed. You’re telling me that some arbitrary service charge is being assessed for one quarter of the cost of the actual ticket? The Thirsty Beagle thinks this is a little steep. But nothing takes the cake like when you are almost ready to check out, and you are asked how you’d like to receive the tickets. Your options: $4 to have it mailed, like $25 to have it sent by FedEx, or $4 to PICK IT UP AT WILL CALL! Yes, I went all-caps on you. First off, $4 to mail the tickets, when surely that will cost all of like 50 cents? That’s bad enough. But four freaking dollars to PICK THEM UP AT WILL CALL??!! You want me to pay you $4 so I can stand in line to get my tickets? Absurd. So long story short, somewhere along the way The Thirsty Beagle ended up paying $109 for the tickets. Let me phrase that another way: To buy three tickets, I essentially had to buy a fourth ticket! The solution: Just tell me the tickets cost $36.33 in the first place, then no hard feelings. Who will be the brave soul to start this fair and honest ticket pricing revolution? The Thirsty Beagle awaits.